Essential California Week in Review: A California dream gone sour

A man rests on a sleeping bag in a parking space in an alley in Torrance.
Andrew Truelove, 37, rests on a sleeping bag in a parking space in an alley in Torrance.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, July 29.

Here’s a look at the top stories of the last week

From a one-way flight to sleeping in a parking lot: Diary of a California dream gone sour. Andrew Truelove arrived in Los Angeles with big dreams. A month later, he was sleeping in the parking lot behind a Torrance shopping center.

‘I can’t die like this’: Video shows trans man beaten by deputy during stop. The incident in Whittier is the latest in a string of controversial force incidents involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

Bronny James suffers cardiac arrest at USC workout and is in stable condition. The 18-year-old son of Lakers star LeBron James has been released from the hospital. LeBron says “everyone doing great.”



Sinéad O’Connor, fierce activist and haunting singer of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,’ dies at 56. The Irish singer-songwriter shot to fame in 1990 with a shaved head and the Prince-written hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” then cemented her place in pop culture by shredding a picture of the pope on “Saturday Night Live.”

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illustration of a man in the desert with a large hot sun behind him. a wavy heat effect animates.
(Illustration by Jim Cooke / Los Angeles Times)

I searched hell on Earth for a story. What I found will haunt me forever. A visit to Death Valley National Park has profound consequences for a veteran of extreme temperature. “I thought I knew heat.”

More on extreme heat

He built a booming black market empire inside L.A. County jails. Until his murder in prison two weeks ago, Michael Torres ran one of the most intricate and lucrative black market businesses in L.A. County.

It’s not just Feinstein: McConnell’s episode exposed the age and vulnerability of U.S. leadership. The Senate minority leader appeared confused at a news conference Wednesday. But America’s leadership is full of aging giants.

$600,000 in stolen wine: Inside one of California’s biggest high-end alcohol heists. The theft of hundreds of bottles of wine from an L.A. shop — including about 75 priced upwards of $1,000 — is the latest of several high-profile crimes targeting the industry.


The GOP and the NRA want to stop gun violence research. California is a target. The state maintains a single file that records every legal handgun transfer since 1996 and every rifle and shotgun transfer since 2014. No other state has anything like it.

A text from a one-night stand finally pushed me into the dating scene. I played coy for a few rapid-fire texts, extracting information out of him for my own amusement. It turns out my ill-fated virtual romance led me to realize my potential.

Oppenheimer’s test site wasn’t remote. It was populated by Hispanos and Native Americans. The people of New Mexico were the first victims of the atomic bomb, the result of the Manhattan Project’s Trinity Test on July 16, 1945.

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ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

Being a Barbie girl in a first-gen immigrant world. All of my dolls were Latinas, no matter if they were blond, brunet, redhead, etc. They also had traditional names. Some highlights included Maria del Carmen, Victoria, Rosalinda, Maite and Lupita.

A politician’s downfall reveals a Disney exec and a secret ‘cabal’s’ power over Anaheim. Interviews and records provide a rare insider’s look at the influence of unelected power brokers in the city that is home to Disneyland and the Angels.


Are these trendy restaurants gentrifying Glassell Park? I dined with longtime neighbors there to talk it out. A writer invited longtime neighbors to taste new restaurants Dunsmoor and Bub and Grandma’s. But first let’s talk about parking.

Today’s week-in-review newsletter was curated by Karim Doumar. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to